Customs steps up anti-piracy enforcement for Labour Day holiday

30 Apr 2007

For the upcoming Labour Day holiday, Hong Kong Customs stepped up enforcement to clamp down on smuggling of pirated goods into Hong Kong and street selling of infringing items at tourist spots.

In a territory-wide anti-piracy operation, codenamed "Eclipse", mounted from April 23 to 28, 2007, Customs officers seized about 76,765 pirated optical discs and 4,317 counterfeit goods. The total worth was about $2.4 million.

They arrested 35 persons, aged between 18 and 59, including 30 men and 5 women.

The counterfeit goods seized were mostly garments, shoes, watches and leather products, while the pirated optical discs included music CDs and newly released films.

A spokesman for Customs and Excise Department today stressed that Hong Kong Customs would continue taking stringent enforcement actions against piracy activities during the holiday.

Following large-scale sweeping raids throughout Hong Kong, Hong Kong Customs cracked a total of 181 cases, leading to the seizure of $1.4 million worth of infringing goods.

Seizure included 54,605 pirated optical discs and 611 counterfeit goods. Twenty-two men and five women, aged between 18 and 59, were arrested.

In a special operation targeted at upstairs counterfeiting activities in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok, Customs officers smashed 6 showrooms, seizing 1,895 counterfeit goods which amounted to $436,000. Seven men, aged between 27 to 49, were arrested.

Seperately, Customs officers of Lok Ma Chau Control Point seized from an incoming lorry 22,160 pirated optical discs and 1,811 counterfeit goods. The total worth was about $524,000. A 44-year-old male driver was arrested.

Anyone who contravenes the Trade Descriptions Ordinance is liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and an imprisonment for five years.

Under the Copyright Ordinance, anyone who is found in possession of or importing any pirated article for commercial purposes is liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $50,000 per copy and four years' imprisonment.

If public come across any suspected copyright infringement activities, they are encouraged to call the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Monday, April 30, 2007

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